The first two competitions of the INFRA Federal Equestrian International World Jumping Challenge (FEI WJC) has been completed. And Barbados has secured a team score for 2017 without the results of the third competition that is still to come on June 25.
In late March five equestrians with their equine partners took part in the INFRA FEI WJC Competition 1. The Barbados and FEI flags were raised high on the hill overlooking the course and the Caribbean Sea at the picturesque Whitehall Equestrian Centre, St. Peter.
Sara Jones and Sir Glacken, the lone entry in Category A, 1.20m – 1.30m, broke the ice entering the arena to face the 11-jump course of 13 obstacles designed by Guilherme Jorge of Brazil.
A hush fell on the crowd as the handsome white horse galloped into the arena. Jones who is usually all smiles on course was the picture of concentration. The pair completed a clear round with an excited buzz among the crowd. But it was completed just over the time allowed and received a penalty of a single time fault. In Round 2 they rode the course with more vigour to accomplish another clean round, with zero time faults in 70.17 seconds.
Up next was the well-loved piebald Irish sports horse Daisy and Paige Tryhane. Theirs was a beautiful ride, but they left Round 1 of Category B, 1.10m – 1.20m, with two rails and a total of eight jumping faults. However, in Round 2 they fought back with more determination to jump a lovely clean round in a time of 65.81 seconds. That gave them a total of eight faults which was good enough to look for the team score.
Category C, 1m – 1.10m, was won again by Tryhane, this time on her mare Feip. She completed two clear rounds with her second round against the clock in a quick time of 63.30 seconds.
Following protocol to the FEI WJC rules, Tryhane cannot be a team member for Category C as she already holds a spot in Category B. However, she will get the opportunity to have an individual score in the geographical zones and world ranking.
In second place was Mahlea Archer astride the grey gelding Calipo. She had a steady clear first round with one unfortunate rail in the second round at the last fence, in a time of 65.77 seconds.
Third place went to Zoe Archer and Millridge Z. Archer piloted her chestnut gelding around Round 1 with an excellent clear round, but the pressure of the clock in Round 2 forced two rails leaving her with eight jumping faults in a time of 63.51 seconds.
Competition number 2 was again staged in ideal conditions on April 29 at the Whitehall Equestrian Centre. Six equestrians vied for supremacy in the final of the National Super League Championships.
Veteran Jones and her thoroughbred partner Sir Glacken were first to make their way around the course in Category A, 1.20M – 1.30M. This segment provided a complex course and the pair made it around with one rail giving them four jumping faults within the time allowed. In Round 2 Sir Glacken and Jones had an agenda but an unfortunate rail at the first obstacle and another at fence no. 7 left them with eight faults, in a quick time of 61.12 seconds. It was the quickest time of the day. Good solid rounds, unfortunate rails, but this pair held the team spot for Barbados in Category A.
In Category B, 1.10m – 1.20m, Tryhane and the little horse with the big heart, Daisy, took a single rail on the large vertical fence after clearing the double oxer combination in Round 1. Round 2 proved a tough course with a very near fall for the pair after clearing the large oxer with a tight turn back to the combination where the faults were gained. It was a great recovery to finish out the round with only six faults. Good enough to hold a spot for the Barbados team.
In Category C, 1m – 1.10m, in Round 1, there were four clear rounds for the group. Zoe Archer and her experienced mount Millridge Z, Mahlea Archer and her equine partner Calipo with a very quick time, Tryhane and the ever growing and developing Feip, and the very handsome newly imported Little Vegas owned and ridden by Laura Smith, showed no trouble on course.
In Round 2, Zoe Archer and Millridge Z had a nail-biting clear round with the leading time of 61.69 seconds, ahead of Tryhane and Feip also with zero faults, in 63.30 seconds. In third position with a beautiful clear round in a time of 65.64 seconds was Adriana Watson riding Soca Kid, the explosive and inexperienced retrained thoroughbred.